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Old 04-23-2007, 09:48 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livingston

I remember reading here (and elsewhere) that because "cultured buttermilk" is milk with an acid added (and sometimes a butter flake) one can make a good substitute by adding 1 tbsp of lemon juice to milk and then letting it stand for 10 minutes before using in a recipe (vinegar or cream of tarter can also be used but I can't get my brain around that for pancakes).

Liv

This is somewhat true. Cultured buttermilk is cultured milk, which lowers the ph of the milk, making it acidic. This is a different product from true, old fashioned buttermilk, which was drained off the buttermaking process.

Yes you can make a buttermilk substitute with milk and the addition of lemon juice or vinegar, either acid works well. You won't be able to tell the difference when using lemon juice or vinegar, in the finished product.

Personally, I would not back off much with the addition of buckwheat flour, or whole wheat flour or ground oats, to the pancake mix. These different flours add flavor, texture and different vitamins and minerals, than using just all purpose flour.
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Old 04-23-2007, 12:22 PM   #32
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Am I the only one who uses boxed pancake mix?



Just add your egg, your fat, and your milk/water and go. It's so simple, and I've always had such better results with the mix than with home brewed pancake batter. It's one of the few things where I'll concede that the manufacturers can make it better than I can.
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Old 04-24-2007, 05:54 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livingston
Is there any reason not to add them to the batter (other than to get a more even distribution)?

And thanks for the post on SACO powdered b'milk. Is this the recipe?

SACO | Best Buttermilk Pancakes

I remember reading here (and elsewhere) that because "cultured buttermilk" is milk with an acid added (and sometimes a butter flake) one can make a good substitute by adding 1 tbsp of lemon juice to milk and then letting it stand for 10 minutes before using in a recipe (vinegar or cream of tarter can also be used but I can't get my brain around that for pancakes).

Remembering that this thread was originally started to understand the effects of different ingredients and different proportions, I wonder if adding melted butter (instead of the oil) will give a better approximation of real buttermilk(?)

It's apparent from my first experiment that I need to lighten the pancakes (as I posted earlier the result I got may have been because of the buckwheat - I think I'll leave it out next time to see what happens).

Liv
If the blue berries are added to the batter, they will stain the batter. you will end up with bluish-grey pancakes. They still taste and feel the same though. They just aren't as pretty.

If adding other fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, etc, then you need to add a bit of extra baking soda to ballance the ratio of acids and alkalyes. This will insure that the pancakes rise properly.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 04-28-2007, 11:44 AM   #34
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I'm back with the results of some testing. Remember, my obective was to learn about how ingredients affected results, not just looking for a recipe.

P.S. Thanks for the note on adding blueberries. It's the color and that makes sense.

Back to the recipes. I ran four experiments. The first two were very "grainy" and had too many different ingredients for me to get a good idea of how each was contributing. So, I pulled some ingredients out (like buckwheat) to get a more basic recipe. I certainly will be adding the buckwheat back after a good solid base of understanding. I'll also be adding in blueberries, but that will be a later experiment.

Here are the last two tests:

#1
1 C all purpose flour
2 1/2 t baking powder, double acting
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3 T sugar
2 T lemon juice
1 C milk
1 egg
3 T cooking oil
Add lemon juice to milk and let stand 10 minutes. Whisk dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients and lightly whisk until just blended. Cook on a medium (~325-degree F) griddle until lightly brown on one side. Flip and cook to the same doneness on the other side.

These were a little bit on the chewy and rubbery side. I also found the taste was just OK.


So the adjustments in the second test included more lemon juice under the assumption that it would act with the soda in the baking powder to get a bit more "fluff". I pulled the baking sode only because I wasn't sure if it was adding anything. I also converted from oil to melted butter. But perhaps the most dramatic change was to add a second egg. Somewhere earlier in the thread I'd heard that egg helps with the rise. Because of the second egg, I also added an additional tblsp of flour.

#2
3 T lemon juice (this was 50% more)

1 C milk
1 C+1 T all purpose flour (+ for extra egg)
2 1/2 t baking powder, double acting
1/2 t salt
2 T sugar
2 eggs
3 T butter, melted
Add lemon juice to milk and let stand 10 minutes. Whisk dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients and lightly whisk until just blended. Cook on a medium (~325-degree F) griddle until lightly brown on one side. Flip and cook to the same doneness on the other side.
Cook at a lower temp and longer.

#2 is the best test so far. The slightly rubbery texture in #1 was gone and the flavor was much improved (I assume because of the butter vs. oil).

Two things, however, still could be improved. First, a little more "puff" would be nice, and I'm not sure I have the cooking down quite yet. These seemed just a little underdone.

I used the toothpick test but....

With this version of the recipe am I better "slow and lower" or "hot and quick"? I know that the basic answer will be hot enough not to burn the outsides before the insides are done, but, that turned out to be a little tough to judge.

I read on the thread about having the griddle hot enough for water to dance which, in my case appeared to be a setting around 325-350.

So, a little more puff and height and better cooking results could use some help. Should I add the soda back (some recipes call for both powder and soda but I thought powder had soda in it)?

I'm so happy so far with the thread and have learned a couple important things. One is the role eggs play and the second is the difference between using oil vs. butter. I've also liked the technique of souring milk with some lemon.

Liv
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Old 04-29-2007, 08:58 AM   #35
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hi,
first thing i noticed about your original recipe was that the amount of milk seemed way too high for the amount of flour. i expect that the batter would be on the soupy side. my recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 cup milk. besides spreading out more in the pan when you pour them and thus starting off on the thin side, a thinner batter will let more bubbles escape, making the cakes denser.

baking powder has soda in it already. the other ingredients are mainly acids that react with the soda once they are wet. to get more fluff, you can add some soda and some lemon juice, or you could do the same thing by just using more baking powder. i use a rounded tablespoon of baking powder for the amounts above. probably close to 4 teaspoons.

i'm going to disagree with the eggs making them lighter theory. eggs mainly bind the batter together so they don't fall apart. they add moisture also. but too much egg will make them too chewey or gummy. think about the texture of crepes, which have a much higher ratio of eggs. one egg will do for most recipes, which generally call for all-purpose flour. however, if youre going to substitute buckwheat, you won't have as much gluten developing, in which case you may want an extra egg. i find that 1 egg is fine for 1 c flour + 1/2 buckwheat, but if i go 3/4c a.p. flour + 3/4c buckwheat, they are pretty delicate and i have to be careful when flipping them.
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Old 04-29-2007, 12:09 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philso
hi,
first thing i noticed about your original recipe was that the amount of milk seemed way too high for the amount of flour. i expect that the batter would be on the soupy side. my recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 cup milk. besides spreading out more in the pan when you pour them and thus starting off on the thin side, a thinner batter will let more bubbles escape, making the cakes denser.

baking powder has soda in it already. the other ingredients are mainly acids that react with the soda once they are wet. to get more fluff, you can add some soda and some lemon juice, or you could do the same thing by just using more baking powder. i use a rounded tablespoon of baking powder for the amounts above. probably close to 4 teaspoons.

i'm going to disagree with the eggs making them lighter theory. eggs mainly bind the batter together so they don't fall apart. they add moisture also. but too much egg will make them too chewey or gummy. think about the texture of crepes, which have a much higher ratio of eggs. one egg will do for most recipes, which generally call for all-purpose flour. however, if youre going to substitute buckwheat, you won't have as much gluten developing, in which case you may want an extra egg. i find that 1 egg is fine for 1 c flour + 1/2 buckwheat, but if i go 3/4c a.p. flour + 3/4c buckwheat, they are pretty delicate and i have to be careful when flipping them.
Thanks so much for an excellent analysis. You were absolutely right. The last experiment produced pretty thin and runny batter. For the next experiement I increased the AP flour to 1 1/2C and used 1 C milk.

I also decided to increase the baking soda to a full T but to add 1/4 t baking soda which would be activated by the lemon juice I already used.

The results were much, much improved in terms of texture and rise. I did conclude that they were just a little sweet for my taste so my next experiment will cut the sugar back. I did add 1 t vanilla to start experimenting with taste a little now that the basic texture is almost right.

So, the last experiment (#3) is:

3 T lemon juice
1 C milk
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 T baking powder, double acting
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3 T sugar
1 egg, separated and whites beaten to soft peaks
3 T butter, melted
1 t vanilla
Add lemon juice to milk and let stand 10 minutes. Whisk dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients and lightly whisk until just blended. Cook on a medium (~325-degree F) griddle until lightly brown on one side. Flip and cook to the same doneness on the other side (about 3 minutes per side).

I was interested in your comment about eggs also. Your comparison with crepes caught my eye because it was a short article I read once that started a table showing what ratios (mostly of flour and water) produced what products. Since this post is about helping me (and others hopefully) get to a point where I can know what happens if I change some components or ratios in a recipe (instead of finding a recipe I like and sticking to it), understanding that more eggs in the ratio will move toward crepes is aligned perfectly with my intent. (It would be interesting to show the migration path from this basic pancake recipe to a basic crepe recipe).

Our preferred pancakes have buckwheat and blueberries.

I'll start by adding a relatively small amount of buckwheat to the recipe without changing any other ingredients or proportions (probably only 1/4 C added to start). Your comment also helped me understand why one of my early experiments (which did have 1/2 C of buckwheat in it) ended up grainy and fragile. I'll hold off on adding an additional egg until I see what the buckwheat does to the result.

Just so I understand, if buckwheat doesn't produce very much gluten, I assume that addition of an egg (if needed) is to give at least some bubble holding power to the recipe(?)

Thanks so much.

Liv
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Old 04-29-2007, 01:00 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North
It's all good. ...

okay, finaly I got around to make pancakes per your recipe. What can I say, kids liked it, my wife liked it, me, I can't say that I did not like it, I just did not like it, if you know what I mean. Typical American pancakes. It's not bad, it's just diferent. I'm not used to it, and honestly do not have any desire to get used to it. i love my pancake. I suppose if you'd make thewm, you'd have the same reaction on them as i do to your pancake. It is all an aquired taste. But I have to admit they were not bad. I'm saving some till tomorow to see how they taste then. Kind of a taste test. Post more then.
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:24 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by CharlieD
okay, finaly I got around to make pancakes per your recipe. What can I say, kids liked it, my wife liked it, me, I can't say that I did not like it, I just did not like it, if you know what I mean. Typical American pancakes. It's not bad, it's just diferent. I'm not used to it, and honestly do not have any desire to get used to it. i love my pancake. I suppose if you'd make thewm, you'd have the same reaction on them as i do to your pancake. It is all an aquired taste. But I have to admit they were not bad. I'm saving some till tomorow to see how they taste then. Kind of a taste test. Post more then.
Hi CharlieD

Would you post your recipe again and compare it to the one you tried. I'd like to understand the basic differences.

For me this is not so much a question of which recipe one prefers, but what makes them different.

Liv
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Old 04-29-2007, 07:24 PM   #39
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I don't know Charlie's recipe except from what I read from his previous posts. But I cna give you a basic idea of what is different between them.

1. Charlie uses buttermilk and baking soda to create the leavening.
I use double-acting baking powder and milk. Result, he has a sour
componant in his pancake, which will compliment any sweet toppings.
My pancakes will be somewhat sweeter in flavor and will work better with
fresh fruit such as blueberries, which have that sour componant (IMHO).

2. We both use eggs to give the pancakes enough body to hold together.
The eggs serve multiple purposes. They add protien, hence body. They add a small amount of moisture to the end product. To much egg-white and they will produce a rubbery pancake. The yolk emulsifies the oil, or fat that is added to the pancake, allowing it to disburse completely through the batter. If the egg-white is seperated, and whipped, it will add air to the pancake, but this isn't really necessary and will do little to change the final product.

3. We both use some type of fat. I know that I use cooking oil. The water will mostly evaporate, leaving a hard, tough pancake, much like a hard biscuit. The oil serves to retain moisture in the cooked pancake and will also help make the finished porduct tender. Melted butter wil do the same. But it the butter is added to a cold batter, it can quickly solidify into chunks, making it hard to mix in. It's better to mix the melted butter and egg-yolk together to emulsify the butter so it will mix properly.

4. The fluffiness of the pancake will rely on the ratio of acid to alklye, and the amount of gluten and protien in the batter. Cake batter doesn't contain enough gluten to hold the bubbles properly, and will iether cause the pancakes to fall, or to be so tender as to make them impossible to flip while cooking. All-purpose flour is just right for pancakes. Also, the tenderness is a result of proper mixing technique. If the batter is overmixed, the gluten will be strongly developed and will result in tough pancakes. That is why pancakes are mixed only until the batter is completely moistened.

5. With every pancake recipe, temperature is critical. If it's too low, the pancakes won't cook all the way through and will dry out. If it's too high, then the outside will be scorched by the time the center is done. The best temperature on my electric griddle is 370' F. But I usually cook over the medium setting on my gas range. You have to just test with different heat settings and get to know your pans and stove.

6. The more sugar added to the batter, the easier it will be to scorch the pancake when cooking.

My recipe creates a very moist, tender, and fluffy pancake. So does Charlie's. But they taste different. I will let him post his recipe as I know the correct ingredient ratios for the kind of pancakes I make.

Here's my recipe:

Goodweed's World Famous Pancakes:
Dry Ingredients:
1 cup AP flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbs. sugar (I use Splenda in place of sugar)
1 tbs. doubel-acting baking powder

Wet Ingredients:
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk
3 tbs. cooking oil

Combine all ingredients with a wire whisk. Cook over medium heat until bubbles just start to form, then flip. Cook until the edges just start to lift from the pan. Serve hot with your favorite topping (maple syrup, fruit preserves, etc.

As an alternative to both Charlie's and my recipes, try using 3/4 cup milk combined with 2 tbs honey and 2 tsp. dry, active yeast. Let proof. Seperate 1 large egg and add the yolk along with 3 tbs. cooking oil to the milk mixture. Beat the egg-white to soft peaks. Add 1 cup of lour to the liquid mixture. Fold in the egg-white. Cook as you would regular pancakes. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, or your favorit jam. This batter can also be poured into a large, oiled, cast-iorn pan and baked in a 400 degree F. oven until puffy and lightly browned.

So as you can see, Charlie and I have two very good recipes, just a bit different in approach. but there are many others that give more variety to your recipe collection. Try Dutch Babies, or make your batter a bit thinner, with an extra egg, cook as for crepes. Place a line of fruit pie-filling along the middle and fold the sides inward as for an omlet. I call this (I made mine with blueberry pie filling) blueberry burritoes.

Pancakes are very versatile. You can do all kinds of things with them, from funnel cakes, to flap jacks, to dutch babies, to crepes. They are all variations on a basic batter.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 04-29-2007, 07:48 PM   #40
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My favorite version are the cinnamon/vanilla flavored pancakes with sliced caramelized apples and pears topped with whipping cream. It's heavenly!
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